Today, customer relationship management (CRM) systems are not as far-fetched as they once were. With the advent of cloud CRM, the cost of CRM implementation came down drastically, making mid-size, even small businesses capable of putting a CRM system in place. Sounds great, right? The downside is, a major parentage of all businesses using CRM are failing at implementing the system!
But, considering the fact that successful CRM implementation can increase revenue by 41% per salesperson, shouldn’t it be a top priority?
Well, the truth is, when a business invest their time and resources in implementing a CRM system, they generally want the system to work. The problem remains in the strategizing part.
CRM is a vital part of any business, and you need a proper CRM strategy to make it successful!
So, here are some useful tips to help you build a winning CRM strategy.
“A goal properly set is halfway reached!”
Like most things in life and business, CRM success heavily depends on goal setting too. While goals often differ from business to business, understanding them and working towards achieving them is the key to CRM success.
What exactly do you want from your CRM? Do you want to monitor and shorten the sales cycle? Do you want to identify high-value accounts and channel your resources towards them? Do you want to generate a complex quote in shortest possible time? Or, do you want to strengthen communication within your team?
These are the questions you need to ask yourself before you set a goal. Once you know the goal you want to achieve with the CRM system, you can break it down into smaller milestones and work towards achieving them.
Shakespeare may argue, ‘What’s is a name?’ But, when it comes to CRM success, a lot depends on it!
CRM implementation is successful when your team is comfortable using the system and they actually use the system day in and day out. Thus, keeping the nomenclature similar to the terms used in your industry and business goes a long way in creating familiarity.
How can you do it? Getting a customized industry-specific CRM is one way of doing it. In case you cannot find a specific CRM solution for your industry, it is always better to customize a horizontal system to fit your business process and business terms.
No matter how much time and money you invest in implementing the CRM system, its success ultimately depends on the people using it, aka the team.
While most leaders recommend a democratic way of team engagement, the truth is, the approach seldom works. So, how to ensure buy-in within the team? The best way to do it is to identify key team members and engage them deeply in the implementation process. This involves, organizing in-depth CRM training (more than once, if needed) and fostering a high degree of ownership among these key team members.
These members can then, in turn, train their respective team members and influence their CRM usages.
Well, your CRM stands a much better chance at winning if it is easy for the users to use it. Integrating your CRM with other mostly-used applications can go a long way towards that.
Today, most cloud CRMs come with a wide array of in-built integrations. Make sure to utilize those and get more if necessary! Remember, Email and Web Form integrations are most crucial here. This way you can view, receive and send emails from your CRM system as well as collect leads from your landing pages and websites right in your CRM.
So, identify the key applications your business uses on daily basis and see if you can integrate them with your CRM to ensure success.
No matter how minutely you customize the CRM, unless and until you are using the system on daily basis, you can seldom understand the pain point. Using the system live and evaluating its shortcomings is one crucial step towards success.
Don’t just breath easy once the implementation is done; take out time to evaluate the system in a real-world scenario and improve its shortcomings.